#b#More Hotel Price Gouging Alleged#/b#
Homewood Suites on Route 1 in Plainsboro has been cited by the state Attorney General’s office for alleged price gouging during the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
The hotel was one of six businesses named by the Attorney General’s Office on December 19. It joins the Extended Stay America hotel on Route 1 in West Windsor on the list of 13 hotels and 11 gas stations throughout the state facing price gouging lawsuits.
According to the lawsuit, Homewood raised its rates by 77 percent following the storm. It began charging $229 per night, $100 more than before the storm. Investigators said they found 108 instances of alleged price gouging at the hotel.
The six filings are the third group of lawsuits brought by the attorney general following investigations of complaints filed by consumers. According to a lawsuit filed on November 28, Extended Stay America allegedly raised its room rates by varying excessive amounts, up to 59.8 percent and allegedly engaged in price gouging on 107 instances during the state of emergency.
New Jersey’s law against price gouging prohibits excessive price increases during a declared state of emergency or for 30 days after the end of the state of emergency is declared. An excessive price increases is defined as charges that are more than 10 percent higher than the price for which merchandise was sold during the normal course of business prior to the state of emergency.
Businesses charged in the lawsuit face fines of up to $10,000 for the first offense, or up to $20,000 for each subsequent offense as well as reimbursement for the state’s investigative and legal costs.
Homewood Suites by Hilton, 3819 Route 1 South, Plainsboro 08536; 609-720-0550; fax, 609-720-0551. Mary Ann Kowalchek, general manager. www.homewoodsuites.com
Jhoanna Engelhardt-Fullar, 42, of Burlington, above, the former medical staff director at Princeton Healthcare System (PHCS) has been sentenced to four years in prison after she admitted to embezzling some $186,000.
Engelhardt-Fullar, a Burlington Township resident, admitted to writing company checks to herself from the medical staff account and ran up unauthorized debit card purchases over an 18-month period between April 2010 and February. PHCS is the parent organization of the University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro.
State Superior Court Judge Gerald Council also ordered that she make partial restitution in the amount of $72,000. Engelhardt-Fullar faced a maximum of 10 years in state prison and a $150,000.
Authorities began investigating Engelhardt-Fullar after an internal audit revealed irregularities. According to the county prosecutor’s office, Engelhardt-Fullar cut fake checks written to herself and transferred money budgeted for the staff account onto her own credit cards.
She also used the staff account debit card to make over 130 unauthorized purchases that included groceries, restaurant meals, car repairs, payments to a timeshare, and Apple electronic devices.
Peter Plumb, 55, a chiropractor with an office at 1213 Lawrenceville Road, was charged by Lawrence Police with sexual assault and two counts of criminal sexual contact on December 17.
According to Lieutenant Mark Ubry, the first incident occurred earlier this year with a 20-year-old female patient. The doctor was accused of placing his hand on her pubic area in an effort to align her hips.
Incidents also occurred in November and December, said Ubry, when a 39-year-old female patient was treated by Plumb, a resident of Yardley, PA. During the treatments Plumb allegedly touched her breasts through her clothing and also placed his hand in the area of her groin. During one treatment session, according to the police, Plumb informed the victim that he needed to work from the inside out and then removed the victim’s pants and penetrated the victim with his fingers.
Plumb’s bail was set at $100,000 for the sexual assault charge and $2,500 for each count of criminal sexual contact, police said. Anyone with information is asked to call the police at 609-869-1111 or E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Joel May, 77, on December 24. He was president of the Health Research and Educational Trust of New Jersey (HRET-NJ) in Princeton. He was also a faculty member in public health of the University of Medicine and Dentistry-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. In 1984 he founded the Pennington Group, a health care management consulting firm. He later taught the use of personal computers at senior groups and computer clubs.
Gerard S. Carlozzi, 56, on December 25. He was the former chief operating officer of Integra Life Sciences in Plainsboro.
Brenda Farr Engel, 59, on December 21. She was a partner at the law firm of Backes & Hill in Lawrenceville.